Saturday, 9 December 2017


The smells of Christmas are just as important as the tastes and images. The whole sensory experience becomes etched in our memories and makes up our big picture of Christmas.  I wanted the babies to be able to enjoy the Christmas scents so I made up some scent bags. 

You will need:
  • Christmas spices
  • cotton wool balls
  • silk bags
  • plastic food bags

I put cotton wool balls in to a plastic bag and poured in a spice. Shook it up till all the balls were covered and then transferred them to the silk bag. Shook off the excess and tied up the drawstring handles. 
Use a clean plastic food bag for each spice so as not to mix the scents. 
I added cloves to one bag and I am going to make one with Star Anise once I have bought some.

This activity meets the following areas of the EYFS:
  • Personal, social and emotional
  • Understanding The World

Friday, 8 December 2017


Grab yourself an old drinks bottle and get creative filling it with all things Christmas!
I think it is nice to make these bottles for the babies in my setting because there is so much that is not suitable for babies to have, due to safety issues but are key elements of a season or theme. Not wanting them to miss out led me to make these bottles so that babies could still see these items and explore them without any danger.  I am looking forward to setting up a Christmas lights bottle too!

Look through your craft boxes, toy boxes and junk draws to see what you can find to make up your bottles! If you want to have a closer look at these and their contents then pop over to my YouTube channel! 

This activity meets the following areas of the EYFS:
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Understanding The World


You will need:

  • Small Christmas items that you can use to count
  • 5 dishes with the numbers 1 - 5 written on them
Set up the dishes in numerical order and offer up the items that you have found for counting. Show the children how to count the correct number of items in to the corresponding dish. Once the child feels confident with this you can extend the learning by turning it in to an addition activity.

By selecting 2 dishes you can add together the combined total of those quantities. For example 1+3= ?
Empty out both dishes and count all of the items. It creates a very visual way of learning addition. Not only is it hands on but it is tactile too. The children can hold and move the items and see that the quantity is still the same no matter how they arrange them on the table. 
You could add a number line to this as well to support the addition. 
Remember that this can be adapted for different themes, interests and celebrations!

To see this in action then please pop over to my YouTube channel were I show examples of this activity in use.

This activity meets the following areas of the EYFS:
  • Communication and Language
  • Mathematical

Friday, 1 December 2017



As seasoned board game players we are always keen to try out a new game. The creators of Randomise sent us this fun new game and it didn't take us long to get our heads round it and stuck in to a game.

What is Randomise?
 Randomise is a simple team game where you are given a crazy random identity and you have to act, draw or describe it to your team mates. 

How do you play?
 The game comes with 3 decks of cards. Each labeled A,B or C. You select a card from each pile and declare Easy or hard. (you get more points for hard). The opposing team then give you 3 random numbers between 1 and 3 and you then match the numbers to the cards to find out your unique identity! The same number can be given more than once!

Card A - gives a description of you
Card B - tells you what you are
Card C - tells you what you are doing

Then the fun begins! You have to help your team guess who you are by either, describing, acting or drawing out clues while they all shout out their guesses.

So If we use the cards above and the number you were given was a 1, then your identity would be a "nosy rat playing the saxophone"!  For every card your team guesses they get a point and if they guess your complete identity then the team gets bonus points! If the team can not guess your identity then the other team get to confer and make a guess. If they are luck they can steal your bonus points!
The winner is the first team to reach 30 points!

So what did we think?
 Well we had a ball with this one! The great thing was that you have 3 options for getting your identity across to the team. Some jumped up right away to act while I prefer to draw my identity. You also get longer on the timer for drawing than you do to act or vocalise it. 
This makes it really inclusive and allows each player to work with their strengths. 

Secondly, I would say the age range is key. I had a couple of players that were younger than 8 playing and the reading is quite important. So unless you have someone sat out watching who can help them, it does make it tricky if you are not confident with your reading. 

The creativity involved in this game is fantastic! You really have to get the brain matter working so that you can get your identity across to your team. Some of the cards are really tricky to portray! Its fun to be challenged and also to see how each person views their identity and chooses to portray it! Lots of room for out of the box thinking!

Brilliant for building your confidence if you are not keen on being the center of attention. Unlike charades where you have to stand up and act (which I hate doing) you can pick something different and build up your confidence with that till you relax enough to try a different approach. Even I got up and acted in the end!

Kids get to learn new words! Expanding understanding and vocab! Learning more "WOW" words! (or so our primary school would call it). This would be a fantastic game to use in a classroom! In fact I think I will let our local school know about it! 

All in all we think this is a great game and will be taking it to our friends tonight while we eat takeaway! It is super portable due to it's size and so easy to learn and play. The only thing I think might improve the game is the addition of little egg timers. we just used our mobile phones to time each turn, but children are often very visual and egg timers show you how much time has passed and how much you still have to go. I know I preferred this when I played games such as Pictionary and Dingbats when I was little. 

You can buy the game direct from Gamely through Amazon for £11.99 by clicking here 
Social media links if you fancy having a look or following are Twitter and Facebook

Disclaimer - We were sent the product and asked for an honest review. All opinions given are our own. This post contains affiliate links.

Friday, 24 November 2017



  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog
  2. Answer the questions honestly (skip any you don’t feel comfortable answering)
  3. Tag 10-20 bloggers to take part (let them know on social media)
  4. Post the questions without your answers at the bottom of your post so that they are easy to copy and paste for the people you tag


Q1: What’s your name? A: Pippa
Q2: Any nicknames or aliases? A: Pip
Q2: Your gender? A: Female.
Q4: Your star sign? A: Cancer and a stereotypical one too!
Q5: How old are you? A: 40
Q6: Your relationship status? A: Hand fast!
Q7: Any children? A: Yes. 2 boys
Q8: Any pets? A: 1 snake, 1 Bearded Dragon, 2 time share tortoises, several tropical fish!
Q9: Any tattoos or piercings? A: Ears and belly pierced! Like to Henna rather than tattoo as my likes change so often.
Q10: What do you like about yourself? A: My gentle nature and the fact I take everyone for who they are.
Q11:  What do you dislike about yourself? A: Anxiety and my naivety. 
Q12: Righty or lefty? A: Righty but eat like a lefty!


Q13: The last thing you drank? A: Cuppa tea! My life would not be complete without tea.
Q14:The last thing you ate? A: Graze box Garden of England box
Q15: Your last phone call? A: Someone trying to sell me cheaper Electricity.
Q16: Your last text message? To my sexy man!
Q17: Your last email? A: An enquiry about childcare 
Q18: The last song you listened to? A: "See you again" Wiz Khalifa
Q19: The last book you read? A: currently reading through "The genius of birds" by Jennifer Ackerman
Q20: The last time you cried? A: Watching my friends restaurant burning down in the middle of the night last week. Feeling so helpless.
Q21: The last blog you read? A: 100 Truths by Relentlessly Purple 
Q22: The last person you spoke to? A: My man to ask him the last time I cried!
Q23:  The last place you visited? A: Treacle's tea room, for a full English breakfast in Thame.
Q24:  Your last holiday abroad? A: Barcelona in 2001


Q25: Have you ever gotten back with an ex? A: I had on and off brake ups with my first serious boyfriend.
Q26: Have you ever been cheated on? A: Not that I know of but know one of them was capable of it so trust was lost.
Q27: Have you ever cheated on someone? A: No.
Q28: Have you ever lost someone special to you? A: Family members and my dog who was my best friend! Broke my heart!
Q29: Have you ever been so drunk you threw up? A: Yes a couple of years ago because of someones vodka measures being 3 times what I thought I was getting!!
Q30: Have you ever fallen out of love with someone? A: Yes... see previous answer about being cheated on.
Q31: Have you ever met someone who changed you? A: lots of people for  good and bad reasons. 
Q32: Have you ever been in a situation where you found out who your real friends are? A: Yes. quite recently and I now have a smaller but truer circle of friends for it.  It was a good thing!
Q33: Have you ever kissed someone you probably shouldn’t have? A: Yes
Q34: Have you ever found out people were talking about you behind your back? A: Yes!
Q35: Have you ever broken someone’s heart? A: So I have been told.
Q36:  Have you ever kissed a stranger? A: No
Q37: Have you ever had your own heart-broken? A: Not by a man. Every time a pet dies. I just can't cope with it.
Q38: Have you ever had sex on the first date? A: No. I have had sex on a non date. 
Q39:  Have you ever been arrested? A: Nope.
Q40: Have you ever been attracted to someone who isn’t the gender you usually find attractive? A: I know lots of woman who I feel are attractive but I wouldn't say I have been sexually attracted to any woman.
Q41: Have you ever done something you regret A: Yes
Q42: Have you ever had a threesome? A: No
Q43: Have you ever embarrassed yourself in public? A: Oh soooo many times!
Q44: Have you ever misjudged someone? A: Yes sadly. I have had too many people show their true colours after time. But it always shocks me to the core. 


Q45:  Do you believe in God? A: I believe in a God but not as he is betrayed by religion!
Q46: Do you believe in yourself? A: yeah
Q47: Do you believe in Santa Claus? A: of course! If you don't believe magic is dead!
Q48: Do you believe in ghosts? A: Yes. I feel them.
Q49: Do you believe in aliens? A: It would be pretty crazy of us to think we are the only life out there!
Q50: Do you believe in miracles? A: Yes
Q51: Do you believe in the power of positive thinking? A: It is how I live my life. 
Q52: Do you believe in love at first sight? A: I believe in LUST at first sight.
Q53: Can money make you happy? A:Only in the way that it makes your life comfortable. Too much or too little is a bad thing!
Q54: Would you describe yourself as a feminist? A: Not if being a feminist is anything like the man bashers I have come across online the past few years. They just seem to be Anti men! I believe in equality for all. But I also believe men and woman have natural strengths and weakness that come with gender. 
Q55: Are you pro-life or pro-choice? A: Pro-choice.
Q56: Do you have strong political beliefs? A: Yes...... I believe politics is pants and full of lies.
Q57: Do you have strong religious beliefs? A: Nature is my religion.
Q58: What do you think the most important thing you can give a child is? A: unconditional love, gentle but firm guidance and boundaries, your time.


Q59: Are you eating anything right now? A: My youngest just made mince pies for pudding! They taste soooooooo good!
Q60: Are you drinking anything right now? A: Nope. I am feeling the need to go make a cuppa!
Q61: What are you listening to right now? A: Watching a film. 
Q62: What are you thinking about right now? A: Pausing the film, making a cuppa and eating another mince pie!
Q63: What are you waiting for right now? A: My man to say he will go make the cuppa!! ........ Still waiting.
Q64: What are you most excited about right now? A:CHRISTMAS!!!!!!
Q65) What’s your pet hate right now? A: Not being able to Hibernate through the winter and having a teenager that leaves a crapnado in his wake.
Q66: What’s your favourite thing right now? A: Laying in bed nice and warm having cuddles with my man.
Q67: If you weren’t answering these questions, what would you be doing right now? A: Writing another blog post.


Q68: Your first best friend? A:Tasha. She is still with me now and we will always be best of friends!
Q69: Your first kiss? A: I can't remember!
Q70: Your first celebrity crush? A: Shaking Stevens when I was about 5 years old!
Q71: Your first holiday? A: Canada when I was 3
Q72:  Your first pet? A: My first pet that was my VERY OWN, was my rabbit Snokey! I used to treat him like a baby!
Q73: Your first regret? A: No idea.
Q74: Your first job? A: Working in my parents shop.
Q75: Your first childhood memory A: I was about 3 years old in Canada. Lots of little memories from there. The plane, family, camping in the mountains, watching divers jump off a rope bridge. all sorts of memories.


Q76: Love or money? A: Love every time!
Q77: Twitter or Facebook? A: Twitter.
Q78: Hook up or relationship? A: Relationships.
Q:79: Dogs or cats? A: Both for different reasons. They are both amazing!
Q80: Coffee or tea? A: Tea.
Q81: Beer or wine? A: Can't stand either! VODKA!
Q82: Sweet or savoury? A: Mostly savoury.
Q83: Introvert or extrovert? A: An Introvert mostly.
Q84: Vampires or werewolves? A: Werewolves!
Q85: Seaside or countryside? A: Countryside.
Q86: Summer or winter? A: Summer
Q87: Books or movies? A: Books.
Q88: Horror or comedy? A: Comedy


Q89: Do you wish you could change your past? A: Sometimes but the path I have taken has lead to where I am now and I can't imagine not having my family and living where I do.
Q90: What’s your dream job? A: I think I am doing it! Would love to get in to more support and training within the early years sector. 
Q91: What’s your guilty pleasure? A: Chocolate
Q92: What are you afraid of? A: Loosing my kids.
Q93: What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up? A: A hairdresser
Q94: If you could have any super power, what would it be? A: Invisibility!
Q95:  If you could change anything about your life what would it be? A: Having anxiety.
Q96: Would you want immortality? A: Nope. Sounds awful.
Q97:  If you could interview anyone alive or dead who would you choose? A: I have no idea.
Q98: Would you say you are happy?  A: Yeah. The happiest I have ever been!
Q99:  What one piece of advice would you give to yourself at age eighteen? A: Get counseling for your anxiety sooner so you didn't have to live with it so long.
Q100: Where would you like to be in five years’ time?  A: Right here!
So that's me in a nutshell..... or 100 nutshells!
Now think about who you would like to tag and find out a little bit more about your blogging friends! I am actually cheating and only tagging 5 bloggers!

Dadgeek UK
Daddy Poppins
Picking up toys
Autumns Mummy

Sunday, 12 November 2017


Lets talk POOP! 

We all need to do it and it is guaranteed that your child will ask for a poop at the most inconvenient time! This happens at our forest school and we have to hand people a spade and send them off to a far corner with the instruction to dig a hole and then re-cover once finished! 

We have some exciting news though! TOLC has been offered the money for a funky new compost toilet! We just need to raise the extra for the delivery, VAT and some installation aspects. So  have set up a Just Giving page with the hope that we can make the call of nature on our site a little less..... out in nature! Still keeping the green ethos and having zero waste by turning the poop in to compost! 
Win win situation for all!

 Look at this funky little beauty! 
If you would like to donate or share our Just Giving page we would be most grateful! 

Thursday, 9 November 2017


Can you see him?

Still small but so much bigger than he was a few weeks ago! He is now being taken out for extra food and he seems not to be pushed around as much as he once was. He still seems to struggle with the water trough and he nearly ended up in it head first again when I was there!

The hard part is done now. Most runts die in the first 6 weeks and it looks like he has a full ,life ahead of him! The farm have told me that he will now stay with them. He will not go for meat. Which makes me very happy. I think everyone has become very attached to him!

Wednesday, 8 November 2017


I recently bought an annual pass to a local farm. I love getting out and about with the little ones to fun places that get us outside and exploring nature. This farm is an Eco farm and includes nature walks on it's land so it seemed a no brainer. 

It means I can now offer the children regular experiences such as this. Pony grooming! This lovely girl is so relaxed with the children and seems to love being pampered!

"J" gets to help look after a horse and learn about them as he does so. He is getting really confident with the ponies now and has only groomed them a handful of times so far!

Today's play meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
  • Physical Development
  • Personal,Social and Emotional
  • Understanding the world

Tuesday, 7 November 2017


We like mixing our resources here and feel strongly that it it brings new learning and interest to familiar activities. play dough is one of those very activities that can be given a new spark by adding additional items to it. 
Considering the current season or interests of the children, we think about what new and interesting things we can add to our dough. Each time the children great the activity with interest and renewed excitement.

Autumn is now in full swing and after running and jumping in the fallen leaves, we chose to bring some home with us. There are other treasures such a acorns, pine cones and sticks that we brought home with us. These were all offered up with balls of dough for the children to get stuck in to.

To start with most of the children pushed each item in to a ball of dough. It always seems to be the first thing they do. Push everything in and see what stands up and what falls over. Once an item is removed, the children suddenly notice the marks and holes that the item has left.

This is where I see much deeper thinking taking place and the really learning through play starts! Selecting items one at a time and pushing them in to the dough and then checking the mark it leaves after it has been removed. Some items are rolled over the dough. Pinecones are good for this and leave cool patterns depending on the type of cone and how open or closed it is.

Acorn cups work well too. Some marks leave recognisable shapes behind. Little "B" noticed that the acorn cups made circles in her dough. She brought it over to me and had great delight in showing me how she could make perfect circles! Reinforcing her knowledge of shapes.

Little "A" spent a long time rolling a pinecone over her dough. She had watched another child do this and noticed the pattern they had made. She tried for herself but you could see the disappointment as she lifted her cone and there were no marks to see.  She tried over and over but no marks were made. As she became frustrated by this she pressed a little harder and suddenly she got the results she was looking for. Shouting for the rest of us to look!

She then tried out the acorn to. Little "A" hasn't yet told me the names of any shapes so I  talked about what I could see her doing and included language around shapes and size.
" Wow! You made circles on your dough. Look at all those little circles".

Today's play meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
  • Physical Development
  • Personal,Social and Emotional
  • Communication and Language Development
  • Mathematical 
  • Expressive Art and Design
  • Understanding the world

Monday, 6 November 2017


You will need: 

  • Cardboard cut in to the shape of an owl
  • Googly eyes
  • Colourful paint
  • Colourful leaves 
  • Glue
First you need to paint your owl shapes. Any colour is good! I let the children select the colours they wanted and then set them free with the paint. It is best to let the owls dry before moving on to the next part.

Once dry we used glue to position and stick on the eyes. Some children stick them in the standard eye spot.... others are a bit more random with the positioning. But that is fine. Let them put them were they want. For that matter... let them add as many eyes as they want too!

We take the same approach with the leaf wings. One of our owls only has one wing.  The art is the children's to take ownership of so stand back and let them decide where things need to be stuck.

Display your finished owl with pride!

Today's play meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
  • Physical Development
  • Expressive Art and Design
  • Understanding the world


Forest school is generally a grubby place full of mud! Today was a bit different! We had a particularly busy session and I had many cups to wash. So out came a bucket of soapy water and suddenly I was so very very popular! This had to be the cleanest Forest school activity ever at one of sessions! Thank goodness for wellies and waterproofs.

Little "B" is renowned at our sessions for being a rather feral baby! She hates to be restrained.  Is at her happiest when left to explore the ground, chew on sticks and cover herself in mud. Several people have tried to "Help" her but have only been screamed at for their troubles. Today they saw a very different side of her. Looks like she is equally as happy in a bucket of bubbly water! 

I have to say it made clean up much easier on this day. I always get her cleaned up and in new clothes after our sessions so that she is ready for nap. All the fresh air and outdoor play exhausts her! She was super clean this week!

Today's play meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas:
  • Physical Development
  • Personal,Social and Emotional
  • Communication and Language Development
  • Expressive Art and Design
  • Understanding the world

Tuesday, 31 October 2017


We always enjoy Halloween and try to find new ideas to include. My sisters came over with my nephew this year and they brought some fun things to enjoy, with them! 

This fun spider web activity gives children the chance to make the web by threading the yarn or string through the washing basket and then adding the spiders. We talked about what spiders like to eat and found plastic fly's to feed them!

Decorating pumpkin shapes with a selection of buttons in tones of orange is a very effective craft. Older children would add more buttons which would look amazing but it still looks lovely with just a few added to the template. Then add a green stalk (where ever you fancy) and you have a cool pumpkin!

Ceramic pumpkin tea light holders can be bought from most art suppliers. Such as Baker Ross. These are easy to decorate with a range of media. we used acrylic paint. Add a battery tea light and you have a sweet little night light for the child's bedroom!

Resistance painting with paper bats on black paper looked really effective! Use a sponge and bright paint to dab over the top of the bats which you can place on the black paper and hold down with a dot of blue tac. Once dry, remove the bats and you are left with a fantastic Batman type image on your paper!

A nice messy sensory activity is shaving foam in a large tray, with drops of paint in it. Add some creepy bugs and spiders and let the children get mucky. I recommend a big bowl of bubbly water near by for the clean up!

Get creative with your potion making activity and offer some interesting ingredients! Toe nail clippings (or soap shavings), sashes of unicorn hair (or tea bags) make some amazing props for this activity!

Set up a pumpkin hunt and find out what the Halloween word says! Great for letter recognition and observational skills!

Check out my previous Halloween posts for more spooky ideas!


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